De'Niro Laster going camping

Out of suburban Cleveland, Ohio's Shaker Heights High School, De'Niro Laster is building a reputation as a "Raging Bull" on the gridiron. The 6-foot-2.5, 205-pound defensive end/tight end is only a junior this fall, but he is getting plenty of attention from college coaches both regionally and nationally. He has a big summer planned to possible college destinations.

"Covering three week span [starting June 10th], I'm leaving to camp at North Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Michigan, and Michigan State," said De'Niro Laster. "I'm going to many of them with Ross Douglas, another top prospect from Ohio. Hopefully, I can come away with some verbal offers with a strong performance."

Laster was a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker last season making 65 tackles and six sacks as a sophomore. On offense, he can play both tight end and wide receiver. He made 40 catches for 657 yards and six touchdowns. Laster was named All-LEL Conference in 2010.

"I'm mostly being recruited as an athlete," said Laster. "I feel like I can play anywhere on the field and make plays. Some of the West Coast schools like UCLA are even looking me as a safety."

In the off-season, Laster has been working out at Mark Harris' Raw Talent Sports in nearby Warrensville Heights. He's made two trips this spring to Columbus for the Ohio State spring game and took in a Buckeye practice. Laster is looking forward to exploring new locations, especially one down south where his kinship recently starred.

"My father's cousin is Andre Smith's dad," said Laster. "I'm excited to get down there there this summer. I'll be in Tuscaloosa July 17th with my father and Andre Smith Sr."

Shaker Heights' players usually end up at Ohio State like Adrien Clarke and Nate Clements, however Laster seems intrigued, at least for now, with the SEC.

"I've been receiving letters from Alabama and Tennessee," said Laster. "I saw online I was on South Carolina's 2013 board. When it comes time for me to make my decision I think it will come down to the one-on-one relationships I have with the coaches."

Laster played JV basketball during the winter and worked out with the track team during the spring. After his busy summer he hopes to continue to gain recruiting momentum with a big junior year.

"The number one thing we need to do is improve as a team," said Laster. "We were just 2-8 last year, but we played against some of the hardest teams in northeast Ohio. I want to play a bigger role on the team as a leader and help set the stage for a playoff run."

An excellent student, Laster, is a part of the Minority Achievement Committee (MAC) Scholars program for high academic achieving African-American male juniors and seniors to mentor to freshman African-American males at the school who are having difficulty in the classroom.

Previously, Laster wore No. 24 for the Red Raiders. Next season he intends to switch to No. 1 to honor his best friend who passed away from cancer.

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